Wednesday, September 19, 2018

When Houseplants Fulfill More Than Bringing Nature Indoors

This beautifully designed window area is in a creative neighbor's home.
I love having plants around the house as design elements in a room, cleaning the air, and bringing nature inside. 

I learned that the third full week of September is National Indoor Plant Week from the National Day Calendar so I decided to do a post about indoor plants. Yes, there are celebrations listed daily and more when you follow the calendar. There's even a website with numerous ideas during National Indoor Plant Week to help folks celebrate. 

We keep a variety of blooming and non blooming plants throughout the house. I've read houseplants can add to cleaner indoor air besides adding a natural outdoor atmosphere. I never thought about the statistics as to how much air cleansing is done until I found this post "How Well Do Houseplants Really Clean The Air?". After reading, I'm thinking my plants are simply interior design elements and bring a bit of nature indoors. 

Having plants throughout a living environment may not be such a big deal in the summer when we are outside enjoying nature but definitely nice to have in the regions where winter means a LOT of indoor time. 

So why not scratch a creative itch by photographing them and getting creative with the photos. I use the cooler months indoors, to have fun with plant photography. Sometimes I decide that a photo might be a nice image on one of my Zazzle products. Not everything goes on prints or canvas wall art. If you follow the blog you've seen my work on a variety of products. 

If photography isn't your thing, you can see what I've done with some of the house plant photographs that I've used as a product design and maybe you'll find some interior design or gift ideas. 

Not all house plants flower so those that do make great photo subjects. I've had several orchid plants that have lasted much longer than I expected. Here's one that I photographed and used on Zazzle. You can light up a spot in any room with a beautifully designed nightlight. These 3.7" wide, 4" high nightlights have designs printed on Mylar with an added plastic protective cover. The design area pops out and rotates to match electrical outlets with the ground pin at the top or the bottom. The Type A plug is compatible with sockets in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. The bulb is not included.  

Purple and White Orchid Dry Brush Night Light

This pillow is designed with a bold red Anthurium that I photographed in a hotel lobby then digitally edited. Pillows are a great way to change up the look of any room. You can store them and change the design out seasonally or with decor color changes. Thousands of Zazzle pillows are available in several sizes, styles, and fabric types designed by thousands of creatives. 

Single Red Anthurium Floral Photography Throw Pillow

Single Red Anthurium Floral Photography Throw Pillow

Another plant that I have been fascinated with is this goldfish succulent that blooms quite often. I had no idea it would bloom until I saw the orange flowers that are about the same size of the leaves. This plant sits in a terracotta pot on the corner of a shelf with a decorative butterfly hanging off. I edited the photo with a watercolor application and added the blooming plant to several products like this light switch wall plate. This is offered as a single toggle switch plate but you can find other wall plate designs on single, double, or triple toggle or rocker switches. 

Watercolor Potted Plant and Butterfly Light Switch Cover

Watercolor Potted Plant and Butterfly Light Switch Cover

One of my very favorite and easy to maintain plants is the Christmas cactus. I have several plants in two different colors. The plant blooms at least twice a year for me. I added a close-up photo of a white bloom as a wall clock design. For those who still love wall clocks, you can use this as a design element on any wall. The clocks are available in 10" square and round and 8" round styles. These lightweight acrylic wall clocks take a AA battery so you aren't tied to a nearby electrical outlet or have the wire hanging off the wall. 

White Cactus Flower Square Wall Clock

White Cactus Flower Square Wall Clock

Do you have plants in each room? Let me hear your thoughts and experiences on houseplants or feedback on the post and share this post with a friend. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Are You Getting a Creative and Protective Assist From Your Phone Case?

Love them or hate them, smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. Besides the obvious purpose as a phone, it offers search information, lights the way with a flashlight and provides directions to locations just to tick off a few uses.

We freak out if we leave it at home and return home to grab "mommy's or daddy's little helper". It's expensive, so protecting it with case is an important consideration.

There are people who like showing off the phone brand so a case may be out of the question. Whoever thought a phone would be a status symbol?

Then there are the folks who would prefer to have some protection for that expensive appendage. After reading a howstuffworks article about protection of smartphone covers, I thought about how many times my case has probably saved my phone from harm when falling on a hard surface.

The howstuffworks article mentions that no smartphone case will protect your phone completely but if you do add a case there are so many choices for levels of protection. You can find plain inexpensive rubber covers that may protect the body but don't protect the screen. You can find other smartphone case brands that offer much more protection.

It's nice to have so many choices. If you want to add a bit to your personality or present a unique gift look at custom designed phone cases and ones that are easy to personalize like you'll find at Zazzle.

Zazzle sells phone cases featuring designs by thousands of independent artists and popular brands. You'll find case brands by Speck, LifeProof, Case-Mate, Otterbox and Clearly just to name some. There is even a wallet case design for some iPhone styles. As I mentioned, some phone cases will protect more than just the phone body. Check out the details of each brand to see what is important to you at the link for each custom designed case.

This pastel watercolor Case-Mate case is one design from my new Zazzle store PaPr Emporium. It's shown here for the newly released Samsung Galaxy 9 but the design is available on other Samsung styles and for iPhones. It's set for you to easily personalize with a name and initial. It will make a sweet personalized gift. My last personalized Zazzle Case-Mate case outlasted the life of the phone.

Soft Pastel Watercolors Initial Letter Monogram Case-Mate Samsung Galaxy S9 Case

Soft Pastel Watercolors Initial Letter Monogram Case-Mate Samsung Galaxy S9 Case

A nice touch is the wallet case, however, it is only offered for a limited number of iPhones. You can easily personalize the name and initial on this glam design that features faux gold glitter. 

Black, White, Gold Glitter Initial Letter Monogram iPhone 8/7 Wallet Case

Black, White, Gold Glitter Initial Letter Monogram iPhone 8/7 Wallet Case

I mentioned how some people like to show off the phone brand so this Otterbox case is one style where that's an option and you can have a natural texture look of white Quaking Aspen bark as the case design. This design is available for several iPhone, Samsung, and Google Pixel phones. You'll see that at the link.

Close-Up Texture Photo | Quaking Aspen Tree Bark OtterBox Commuter iPhone 8/7 Case

A popular Zazzle phone case option is famous brands like Disney. There is quite the selection from which to choose so just try some searches for what might fit your needs.
Dug the Dog from Disney Pixar UP - smiling Barely There iPhone 6 Case

Narrow down a style with your specific search terms on Zazzle to check out the links to case brands that interest you and be sure to take a peek in TheAspenStand store for some ideas too.

Let me know your thoughts on the post. Let me know if you need any assistance with any of my designs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tips for Ease of Shopping in Zazzle Collections

Shopping on ecommerce sites definitely has it's advantages and disadvantages. Finding something you need at home right at your fingertips is a big advantage. Difficulty in finding a specific is a disadvantage. Having a bit of insight into Zazzle can turn a dis into an ad (see what I did there?).

Specific searches obviously make some things easier but if you don't know where to focus your search you may not find what you need. Since I'm always on there searching and trying to make my products easily found, I'm going to show you a search method you may not have thought about.

If you spend any time perusing the pages of Zazzle, you might have come across the page with designer collections (but odds are you haven't). It's not a page that jumps out at you unless you spend a lot of time searching there.

So let's get to showing you where to look. Go to the top of the Zazzle home page where there is a row of drop down menu titles. Cruise to the right end of that top row and click the Gifts dropdown menu then drop down to click on Designer Collections.

After following the appropriate clicks shown in the illustration above, you bring up the Trending Collections page. At the time I was preparing this post, there were 130K+ collections listed on the first page. Yes, that's a LOT of collections.

You'll notice when you begin scrolling the initial pages that these collections are just as the title reads "trending" and they are in no special order. So how can you scroll though all of them for what you want? You don't need to scroll through page after page, thankfully, you can search for collections using the search field at the top of each collection page.

I typed in Baby Shower which cut the search down to 5K+ collections. Then I narrowed it down even more by searching Sip and See which gave me 29 collections all on one page. The key is narrowing that search down to specifics like baby boy, baby girl, gender reveal, etc.

"Sip and See" New Baby Collection
Collections are designed with a variety of concepts in mind. Each designer decides how to put together their specific collections. You might want to search collections for coffee mugs. When you look at the collections you'll find them categorized as personalized, promotional, travel or may collections that have all the mentioned topic. One topic you will definitely find are Best Seller or  Best Selling collections. They may contain all one type product or a variety of products.

While you scroll through the collections, you may see some with a cover that features several products that give a hint to more of what's in the collections, a bold title or a single product. My multilingual thank you collection cover is an example of several products and a title.
Multilingual Thank You

It's as easy at that to get started searching for what you need using the Zazzle collections. Check out some of the links here and leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on this post.